This course is suitable for science graduates and medical graduates with an interest in molecular medicine, including molecular oncology and cancer biology. Both clinical and molecular aspects including statistics and bioinformatics are balanced in coverage on the course.
There is a distance-learning taught component and the opportunity to carry out an extended research project, either in Nottingham or another site with appropriate laboratory facilities.
- Work on a research project in world-leading laboratories within the Division of Cancer and Stem Cells, School of Medicine and the Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node (NMPN)
- Opportunities for collaborative research placements in industry with partners such as Astra Zeneca and Source BioScience
- Study a course which delivers skills specifically which are highly desirable to employers, as identified by the MRC, EPSRC and Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath)
- This is a flexible course, taught through a holistic approach - with blended taught and research components
The curriculum is truly multi-disciplinary encompassing molecular biology, histopathology, genetics, bio-informatics and statistics. It has been developed in collaboration with industrial partners and has sufficient breadth to open career pathways in industry, academia and the NHS.
For graduates with a first degree in subjects such as genetics, biomedical sciences, pathology, biochemistry and microbiology, this course will:
- provide training for a career in life sciences/allied disciplines (including the area of molecular diagnostics
- provide transferable skills to (i) improve employability in the expanding market of molecular diagnostics and (ii) improve competitiveness for PhD programmes
- be a source of continuing professional development for persons already employed in the molecular diagnostics or biotechnology industry
- be a firm foundation for NHS clinical scientists and biomedical staff in pathology to complete higher research training
Medical graduates and intercalating medical students
- For the medically qualified, the course would be most suitable for those specializing in “genome-heavy” disciplines such as pathology, oncology, clinical genetics and molecular medicine
- For histopathologists in training, this course will be an excellent opportunity to learn about molecular pathology at a depth which will easily cover the examination requirements of the Royal College of Pathologists (both Year 1 OSPE and final FRCPath exams)
- For qualified histopathologists, this training programme can be part of professional development to stay abreast of latest developments in molecular pathology and diagnostics
- Medical staff from allied disciplines, such as oncology and clinical genetics this course will provide in-depth experience and understanding of molecular diagnostics to incorporate into patient care
- Medical students may also take this course as an intercalated degree to prepare them for the era of genomic medicine
Aligned with industry needs
The course has been specifically tailored to address a critical skills gap (molecular diagnostics in pathology) identified by the MRC, EPSRC and Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath), UK.
The course is an established activity of the Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node (NPMN), which is one of the six nodes in the UK, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop molecular pathology tests which will help deliver better targeted, more effective treatments – known as 'stratified medicine' – across a wide range of disease areas.
A list of possible research projects for the year will be available to students on commencement of the course.
They are likely to be based broadly on the following topics:
- Molecular characterisation of cancers (including colorectal, breast, ovarian, melanomas, hepato-biliary)
- Molecular Pathology of non-malignant lung disease (obstructive and chronic fibrotic lung diseases)
- Molecular Pathology of liver disease (incl. hepatitis, fatty liver disease etc.)
- Molecular Pathology of Inflammatory GI Disorders including H.pylori gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease
- Computational data analytics
- Intelligent Search Informatics
- Histogenic Molecular Mapping
- Companion diagnostics to novel targeted therapy in cancers
- Novel tumour-associated cytokines
- Characterisation of tumour antigens
- Tumour hypoxia
- Development and biological assessment of cancer vaccines
- Development of novel prognostic screening techniques
Some of the research projects offered on the course are collaborative placements in industry including research partners such as Astra Zeneca and Source BioScience.
For such projects, there will be a named University supervisor and an industry based supervisor who will work in close collaboration. This will be particularly beneficial for those who will seek further career in industry
Teaching on our MRes Molecular Pathology, Bioinformatics and Diagnostics is delivered through an imaginative programme using a variety of different methods (lectures, tutorials, problem solving, discussion fora, workshops).
Online training is supplemented with regular live sessions with module convenors.
Assessment is also on-line, campus-free and it is both formative and summative; it comprises multiple choice questions, interactive tutorials, timed coursework, recorded presentations, journal club presentation and viva-voce examination
You will take 60 credits of taught modules, and complete an extended 120-credit research project leading to a dissertation.
The course consists of three compulsory taught modules, taught via distance learning. All year one taught modules are covered in three months. The taught modules are available as a stand-alone PGCert.
Core modules on this course are:
- Genetics and Gene Regulation
- Statistics and Bioinformatics
- Theoretical and Applied Molecular Diagnostics in the NHS
- Research Project
Please note there are no optional modules on this course.
Following the taught modules, you will also complete an extended laboratory-based research project over a seven-month period. This can be undertaken in Nottingham or another site with appropriate laboratory facilities.
The research project enables you to experience contemporary research methods through designing a research programme and performing experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific molecular pathology problem.
You will be allocated an academic supervisor with whom you will discuss the research project before starting the course.
The laboratories in the School of Medicine where the research will be based all have state-of-the-art facilities which include tissue culture suites including hypoxic incubators and irradiation equipment, polymerase chain reaction suites, Western blotting areas, immunohistochemistry including micro and macro-dissection facilities, tissue micro-arrayers, automated stainers and flow cytometers.
Computational facilities are available for digital pathology analysis and bioinformatics support provided through collaborating schools.
The Graduate School supports all postgraduates and early career researchers at the University, with dedicated study spaces, training courses and placement opportunities.
All research projects will have a project supervisor and a bench supervisor. The project supervisor will oversee the hypotheses building, literature review, experimental plan and analyses and interpretation. The bench supervisor will provide the necessary training and technical support.
Where a project has been offered in collaboration with an external collaborator (industry) there will always be a named UoN lead supervisor and an on-site supervisor.
Consumables will be provided through established laboratory administration procedures. A detailed laboratory induction procedure including health and safety assessment is always provided as per University protocols. If the project requires special analyses such as statistics/bioinformatics, collaborative support will be ensured at the onset.
Students have both formal and informal meetings with supervisors for input throughout the duration of the project. For overall development, students are encouraged to attend divisional seminars and journal clubs and will be encouraged to present their research findings at laboratory and divisional meetings.
There may be opportunities for publication of results either in a peer-reviewed journal or in the form of conference abstracts. The overall educational supervisor and the module convenor are also available for addressing student concerns during their research project. The University library facilities provide either hard copies of journals or e-journals for most publications of repute.
The University provides a range of support and information to enhance your student experience.
You will have access to:
- academic and disability support
- childcare services
- counselling service
- financial support
- visa and immigration advice
- welfare support
English language courses
Our Centre for English Language Education offers presessional English courses to help develop your English and study skills.
The centre is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, so you can be sure that the teaching and facilities are high-quality. You can also access free English language support alongside your academic course.
University of Nottingham Students’ Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or speak to the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.
There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:
- international students
- black and minority ethnic students
- students with disabilities
- LGBT+ students
SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.
Researcher training and development
The Graduate School training and development programme empowers postgraduate students and early career research staff to develop the skills required in their research and future careers.
Careers and professional development
This MRes Molecular Pathology, Bioinformatics and Diagnostics is unique in its blend of scientific and clinical expertise and benefits from strong ties between the clinical and laboratory aspects of Histopathology including Molecular Pathology.
It is particularly suitable for graduates wishing to pursue a career in molecular pathology research or in industry (especially molecular diagnostics).
For those who are medically qualified, they will proceed to be consultants or clinical academics in histopathology, oncology etc.
Students from our course are prepared for a wide variety of positions including:
- clinical careers in histopathology
- Molecular Diagnostics industries
- pharmaceutical industries
- postgraduate medicine programmes
- patent lawyers
- recruitment consultants
- clinical trials
- laboratory scientists
Average starting salary and career progression
90.1% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £31,086.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
Whether you are considering a career within or outside academia, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate.
Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.
Fees and funding
As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, such as printing and lab equipment, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.
The school contributes to some costs relating to conference attendance and may make a contribution towards research expenses. Full costs of your course will vary depending on the nature of your research project, for example there may be additional costs for consumables and project-related travel.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.